And the world is like and Apple
“I think you should buy it.” Kennedy whispered in Willow’s ear as they stood before the case filled with leather bound books and journals, far in the back of the old store in Munich. Kennedy’s hands roamed up Willow’s sides and Willow shivered.
“It’s hardly likely to be real, Ken. I mean, actual notes belonging to the actual Witch of the Isle? In a run-down second hand book store in Munich?” Willow scoffed.
“Well they’re expensive enough to be real.” Kennedy nipped Willow’s earlobe with her teeth and Willow bit her lower lip with her upper teeth as Kennedy then licked the rim of her ear.
“Ken, stop that. We’re in public.”
“You don’t like kissing in public?” Kennedy teased.
“It never ends with kissing. Over there. Now, Missy!” Willow said with a good natured scowl. Kennedy pouted, but did as she was told, sitting on one of the old chairs that stood throughout the store and sticking out her chest at Willow with a smirk.
Willow dove back into her investigation of the case’s contents, humming to herself, occasionally looking over her shoulder to see if Kennedy was not doing something scandalous. The brunette Slayer seemed content to ogle Willow’s bottom as she studied the lower shelves and Willow, happy enough that the girl was so well behaved for once, rewarded her by shaking her tushie rather more than she normally would.
Willow’s hands and eyes kept returning to the tattered notebooks, written on bad paper in a round, almost childish hand, and yet dealing with some of the most powerful spells Willow had ever seen. Finally she could bear it no longer and quickly looked around the corner to see if the old owner and his younger assistant were paying attention. They seemed entirely absorbed in grading and pricing a shipment of books that had just come in and the younger was entering them on the bookstore’s internet store as they worked.
Willow bit her lip again and held up her hand, palm up, reading over the notes in the notebook with care, running the mental exercises through her head as she took a deep breath and whispered: “Fiat Lux.”
A tiny globe of intense light appeared, floating over her palm and then collapsed in on itself, leaving Willow blinking at the sudden darkness.
“NO PHOTOGRAPHY!!” The old man called from the front of the shop.
Willow felt her heart thudding. The spell called for the utmost control, and she knew she didn’t have that, even with her time at the Devon Coven, even with her Calling the Slayers. She had power, and guts, but control, no. Whoever had written these spells, these exercises did have control. Lots of control, as far as Willow could see each single spell or charm or ward was carefully prepared, carefully practiced, carefully written down. Tara had been a far more methodical witch than Willow, but even she had never managed the level of control and deep understanding of magical interrelations this notebook held.
And it was real. These were the notebooks of a witch so famous that even her name was not whispered. She was only known by the name she had claimed, during those few fateful years just during and after World War II when so many evil things were abroad and needed slaying. She, Willow Danielle Rosenberg was holding a notebook in which the Witch of the Isle had written down the equivalent of a magical primer, The Witch, or one of her apprentices. No one knew what had happened to her. The consensus was that the Witch had been an old woman, or at the very least middle aged, who had practiced her magic for her little village community until her whole world was threatened. And then she’d stepped forward and wiped the floor with the forces of Darkness, and once the Dark had been caged once more, she’d returned to her community and retired. Or she had been killed, but none of the forces of darkness claimed to have done so.
Willow clutched the notebook to her chest, breathing rapidly. It was torn and incomplete, the latter half or maybe even two thirds were missing, but in here were things she could use, needed to use. She needed this little manuscript, this little manuscript that had fallen out of the great big leather bound tome that had first drawn her attention, the one with the great dragon on the spine and the interesting title. And yet that big book with all of its magnificent illumination and carefully illuminated initials did not hold half the interest for Willow of this little, tattered, ragged school notebook.
The younger man came in from the front and cleared his throat. “I beg your pardon, but those books are not for sale.” He said in excellent English, pointing at a little sign over the bookcase. Nicht zum Verkauf.
Willow’s eyes widened in shock. “But there’s a price in it!?”
“The one we bought it for. I’m sorry Miss.” He firmly took the notebook from her and put it back in the great tome, carefully shelving both, looking at her with kind eyes. “It’s not a very wise thing to buy. Maybe I can recommend something else?”
“No. No thank you. This is all that I wanted.” Willow said with tears in her voice. She stomped out of the shop and Kennedy went after her.
“Do you want me to get it for you?” Kennedy asked quietly.
Willow shook her head. “No. Stolen spellbooks have a nasty habit of backfiring. And he may have a point, it’s not complete, and incomplete spells are among the most dangerous things in the world. But thanks for asking.”
Kennedy hugged Willow. “I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem for you, you’re the greatest witch in the world. You’re awesomely powerful.”
“It’s not always about power, Ken, sometimes it’s about control.”
“You can say that again, baby.” Kennedy leered.
Willow rolled her eyes in amusement and slapped Kennedy softly on her butt. “Oh, you.”
Inside the store the old man looked at his assistant. “They may be back.”
“They will be.” The younger said nonchalantly, as he drew the blind behind the lettered glass of the door, preparing to close the shop. “But not while we’re here.”
Kennedy looked back at the old shop, her eyes thoughtful and read the white letters on the glass, memorizing them, and making sure she knew how to get back to the place to get that notebook for Willow.
The next morning the door had been broken open and the notebook was gone. A large pile of cash was lying on the desk and the two men looked at each other and sighed. “She does not realize the incomplete instructions are even more dangerous than none at all.” The young man said sadly.
“She may learn. Or she may not.” The old man shrugged. “Call someone to repair the door and take the money to the bank.”
The younger man nodded, made the call to the carpenter while the old man catalogued, put the money in a bag and softly closed the door behind him, the white letters glowing in the early afternoon light Antiquariat Karl Konrad Koreander & Bastian Balthasar Bux Inhaber End note and disclaimer: Nicht zum Verkauf: not for sale Fiat Lux: Let there be light Michael Ende’s: Die Unendliche Geschichte, 1979, K. Thienemanns Verlag was translated as The Neverending story and made into a movie that some people may know. The bookstore and its owners are characters from that novel.